9/5/2014 0 Comments
punctuation in writing
In discussions I've had recently with fellow writers the topic of punctuation in writing has come up. I'm of the school the punctuation should be transparent in writing. Use it to sculpt the writing, but don't overwrite. My favorite little book on writing is Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style". I read it at least once a year. It is short, humorous and packed with the obvious grammar and punctuation that writers need to write. I'm a big fan of "said" for an attribute. If a sentence reads, "Your money or your life," he demanded, it is overkill to use "demanded". "He said" is just fine and if it is obvious who is speaking, we don't even need he said. I have seen this to a disturbing degree in modern writers. Let attributes remain in the background, identifying speakers only when need be. Forget the ellipsis, emdashes, and exclamation points. Make the words say it instead of the punctuation or attributes. Pick up any Robert B. Parker mystery and read ten pages and you'll see of what I speak. And keep writing!
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I'm a serious writer, meaning I have a regular daily writing habit, and I'm interested in sharing my work through publication. My favorite literary form is the novel. I write to entertain myself and my readers.